Understanding World War II and Anne Frank

As a class we have only read up to page 81 and for those of you that are unfamiliar with the story, Anne and her family have moved to the Annex and have been joined by some other individuals. Anne has been stuck indoors and has become more active in writing in her Diary. In the world more is occurring as the Nazi’s have mobilized and war has been declared. IMG_1638
This is however not the interesting or the exciting part. Without my push or suggestion, some of my students have taken the information within the text and have started seeking more information.

Outside of my classroom I have created this board size timeline, one in respect to the fact that I had asked my students to do this personally, but secondly to reveal to others what we are learning and to provide something for the students to compare to and add to.

For those that have read the Diary you will notice that the timeline seems to be flowing at a none ordered pace. This has occurred because students have sought out extra information in relation to the story and have brought these “Did you knows” to me. As we discussed them and mentioned them in class we added them to our timeline. It will be interesting to witness how fast the students move toward the end of the story now that more pieces are being added but that they are being added in different orders. ondergedoken

Using this visual has help my students to see the sequential nature of occurrences, however it has also allowed my students to see the connections between events and to realize that although the relationship between events may not be completely clear, that there is always an element of influence.

I am excited to, go beyond the text in the story and walk through students with the lives and influences of their parents and families so that they may gain insight and understanding that decisions made are not done without the influence of things that may not be evident or clear.

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One resource to initiate engagement in multiple areas.

ondergedokenAs Christmas break ended and we returned to school, our class finished reading and working with the novel “Raven Quest”. Although this novel looked at over coming adversity, thinking over others and understanding aspects of writing such as setting and sequencing, there was only engagement from all of my students when I was reading the text (Story Time). I wanted a text that would engage my grade six students in multiple areas and in multiple ways – simply put I wanted do do something that was as inclusive as possible.

After some lengthy conversations with my colleagues that I would consider literacy Guru’s, i decided to choose “The Diary of Anne Frank”. There are variety of ideas, concepts and activities you could do in relation to the story. For the students in 6C we will be beginning with the following and hope to hear of some other great ideas which we may try.

To incorporate numeracy we will be looking at the two time lines that exist within the span of the story. The time line of Anne Frank and the time line of World War II. We are then going to examine how the two relate to each other and therefore determine how one timeline effected and influenced the other. This will then be combined with students looking, with their parents help at their parents time line and overlapping that with the events that occurred both nationally and internationally, which may have effected their lives.

In respect to citizenship and community, the students are going to examine the issues between Nazi Germany and the Jewish community and how the role of Nazi Germany effected surrounding communities and countries. This will also relate to Social Studies, looking through the lens of government, national identity and relationships. nazi_flag_581 - Copy

Although we are only in the first forty pages of the story, I am really looking forward to working through this story with my students. We have already had some great conversations about equality, integrity, social justice and right & responsibilities, but I am sure that this is just the tip of the ice berg.

If you have some ideas or have previously tried, please share I would love to make this an expereince my 6’s will never forget. Also please stayed tuned as we progress through the story and display our learning and our adventures.